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Old 11-21-2021, 09:17 PM   #1
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DOA Windsport

Small chance of getting to or slightly below freezing in the next few nights - so drained my fresh tank and removed anything in the coach that is freezable. Planning full winterization next weekend.

Took the opportunity to exercise everything - genny, jacks, engine - as it hasn't been started in a bit over a month when I took it in for PM (and everything everything worked fine afterwards).

Low and behold - chassis battery is a proverbial deceased doornail. Not even any dash console lights. No click, nada. Emergency Start just stares back at me when activating it. (house batteries near full, 120v shore power connected to top off).

Multimeter on the chassis battery was all over the place for a bit - I think it was just tired. Eventually settled in to a repeatable 3.36v DC.

Gonna throw a charger on it first thing in the morning; but I've obviously got some troubleshooting to find out WHY it drained. Since the aforementioned PM including battery servicing I have some suspicions of where I should start. No clue as to what technician may have grounded/shorted that didn't drain the battery completely rather than leaving me 3 volts.

Any ideas?

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Old 11-21-2021, 09:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PictureTheSouth View Post
Small chance of getting to or slightly below freezing in the next few nights - so drained my fresh tank and removed anything in the coach that is freezable. Planning full winterization next weekend.

Took the opportunity to exercise everything - genny, jacks, engine - as it hasn't been started in a bit over a month when I took it in for PM (and everything everything worked fine afterwards).

Low and behold - chassis battery is a proverbial deceased doornail. Not even any dash console lights. No click, nada. Emergency Start just stares back at me when activating it. (house batteries near full, 120v shore power connected to top off).

Multimeter on the chassis battery was all over the place for a bit - I think it was just tired. Eventually settled in to a repeatable 3.36v DC.

Gonna throw a charger on it first thing in the morning; but I've obviously got some troubleshooting to find out WHY it drained. Since the aforementioned PM including battery servicing I have some suspicions of where I should start. No clue as to what technician may have grounded/shorted that didn't drain the battery completely rather than leaving me 3 volts.

Any ideas?
Did you drive this home from the service center? If so chances are the technician is innocent especially since you said everything worked fine after the service, so maybe something else is wrong. What year coach and how old is the battery?
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Old 11-21-2021, 09:36 PM   #3
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First thing to do is disconnect the shore power and check the voltage of the house batteries. I had a similar situation this past summer where the chassis battery was dead and the emergency start didn't work and I the house panel said the house batteries were fully charged but they too were low. At first I thought the battery control center had gone bad but the problem turned out to be a bad ground connection in the house battery compartment. The issue was at the connection where the ground cable attached to the frame was tight but RUSTY. For insurance I added a second ground cable to the frame in a different location. Our MH is a 2015 27K. By the way the Battery Control Center is under the hood, on the driver's side, up in the corner.
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Old 11-21-2021, 10:35 PM   #4
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Same year and model as J&D's - 2015 Windsport 27k. Really not sure of the chassis battery age, but at least three years - I haven't replaced it since purchased the rig. Due to the battery age and that I did drive it home from the service center - the tech could be off the hook. The timing of having them clean/service battery and cables is just a bit suspicious.


I'll find the Battery Control Center and add that to my diagnostics. The whatever-its-called trip switch (with the pop-out breaker flag) is right by the battery - and it seems fine. I popped and reset it just to be sure.


House batteries replaced and upgraded to AGM's about 15 months ago. Along with the Cuisinart grill I purchased to pack into the basement - one of my better choices so far.
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:19 PM   #5
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Finally had a chance to try again ......
Confirmed the chassis battery is a Motocraft, so I think it's safe to assume it's the original - installed late 2014 or early 2015.



24 hours on battery charger - no joy. Reading 2.5 volts now.
Attempted jump start - also no joy. Not even a click/whirr.... nothing.
House batteries good - nothing from the "emergency start" function .



Went looking for the Battery Control Module as suggested earlier - and I can't find the damned thing. Looking for something sorta like this, no?


Even if I find it, is there any sort of "reset" function, or is it a chop and swap replacement if it's bad?
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PictureTheSouth View Post
Finally had a chance to try again ......
Confirmed the chassis battery is a Motocraft, so I think it's safe to assume it's the original - installed late 2014 or early 2015.



24 hours on battery charger - no joy. Reading 2.5 volts now.
Attempted jump start - also no joy. Not even a click/whirr.... nothing.
House batteries good - nothing from the "emergency start" function .



Went looking for the Battery Control Module as suggested earlier - and I can't find the damned thing. Looking for something sorta like this, no?


Even if I find it, is there any sort of "reset" function, or is it a chop and swap replacement if it's bad?
I assume you have a 2014 chassis? I have the 2015 chassis and it uses the BIRD/Trombetta setup, not the BCC setup.

If your chassis battery is 2.5 VDC after 24 hours on a charger the emergency start will not work - it is meant to help a discharged battery above 11 VDC - it does not have the capacity to start the engine by itself from the house batteries.

Our chassis battery died as we were stopped and refueling at a gas station. Nothing when I went to start. Emergency start got the lights to come on but no crank. I started the generator which cranked up the converter and automatically closed the Trombetta relay to charge the chassis battery. After about 10 minutes it was charged enough to start the engine and we continued on our trip home.

At home I found the chassis battery had a bad cell - replaced it with no further problems.

Bottom line - replace your bad chassis battery.
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:53 PM   #7
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Not much to do in the way of troubleshooting. If your have an OEM battery installed on the assembly line 7 years ago replace it and move on. You got exceptional service life out of that battery.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:50 PM   #8
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I assume you have a 2014 chassis? I have the 2015 chassis and it uses the BIRD/Trombetta setup, not the BCC setup.

If your chassis battery is 2.5 VDC after 24 hours on a charger the emergency start will not work - it is meant to help a discharged battery above 11 VDC - it does not have the capacity to start the engine by itself from the house batteries.

Our chassis battery died as we were stopped and refueling at a gas station. Nothing when I went to start. Emergency start got the lights to come on but no crank. I started the generator which cranked up the converter and automatically closed the Trombetta relay to charge the chassis battery. After about 10 minutes it was charged enough to start the engine and we continued on our trip home.

At home I found the chassis battery had a bad cell - replaced it with no further problems.

Bottom line - replace your bad chassis battery.

Thanks T&M - I just got back from Batteries+ with a new chassis battery. Now I've got to find out if I have a friend with a right arm strong enough to pull out the old one and stick the new one in.

This is a 2015 Windsport, so I assume the chassis is mid to late 2014. J&D seem to have the same model, and indicated a BCC upper-right under the hood - damned if I can find one though.

I'll see if I can get the genny started to run for a while and see if anything resets. Not holding my breath, though. We ran this rig for 3 years without the slightest hiccup (other than the house battery replacement last year). Now it's been one thing after another since September.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:03 PM   #9
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For anyone keeping score at home (or on the road) - ran the genny for an hour. It needed the exercise anyway

No change in status. DOA.
Now to find someone to help swap the battery.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:15 PM   #10
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For anyone keeping score at home (or on the road) - ran the genny for an hour. It needed the exercise anyway

No change in status. DOA.
Now to find someone to help swap the battery.
I was gonna ask what you thought that would do for you? Nothing will happen on the chassis end until you get a battery up there with enough voltage sensed by the ECM to allow the ignition and starting circuit to energize.

EDIT: I swapped mine out myself. It's only about 60 lbs but it is an awkward reach.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
I was gonna ask what you thought that would do for you? Nothing will happen on the chassis end until you get a battery up there with enough voltage sensed by the ECM to allow the ignition and starting circuit to energize.

EDIT: I swapped mine out myself. It's only about 60 lbs but it is an awkward reach.

Like I said - wasn't holding my breath. Just hoping I'd find I had a BIRD/Trombetta system as you mentioned earlier rather than BCC - and I could get it to reset as described. Nothing wagered - nothing gained - and nothing lost (except I can't read my fuel level with no dash function - should be at least a half tank though)

You replaced the battery at that height and configuration solo? You STUD! I was tempted to use two hands just to bring the replacement out of the store and get it in the back of the car.
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Old 12-01-2021, 03:52 PM   #12
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Hey, Ace! It took four hours and a lot of bloody knuckles to pull it off - but I'm a stud too! Who knew?

The retaining clamp bolt that broke rather than unscrewing however, is another story...... Gonna have to give all my faith to gravity to hold battery in place until I get that sorted out.
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Old 12-01-2021, 05:32 PM   #13
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Hey, Ace! It took four hours and a lot of bloody knuckles to pull it off - but I'm a stud too! Who knew?

The retaining clamp bolt that broke rather than unscrewing however, is another story...... Gonna have to give all my faith to gravity to hold battery in place until I get that sorted out.
Gravity is a heckaofa force. Should be OK.
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